I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.*
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.
If we are more than small children in Christ, if we are more than new converts to Christ, if we are more than spiritual babes without strength, then we are servants of Jesus Christ.
We not only believe in Him as our Lord and Savior, we obey Him as our King and Master. Therefore, we are his workers. As any boss knows, workers must be fruitful to retain their positions.
Even a beginning Bible reader can see Paul's work. Through tireless travel, daily preaching, ceaseless prayer time, all-night sermons, lengthy letters, countless death threats, shocking shipwrecks, multiple jobs, and years in prison, Paul was productive. Arguably, he remains the world's most fruitful Christian.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: As 'God's fellow workers' (1 Corinthians 3:9), be productive, 'Which is your reasonable service' (Romans 12:1).
'Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season' (2 Timothy 4:2). 'Work must be done at all hours, at all times' (Ellicott's Commentary on 2 Timothy 4:2). Why? We have no time to waste: 'Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the Day of salvation' (2 Corinthians 6:2).
'Therefore, my brethren... bear fruit to God' (Romans 7:4): 'The fruit of the Spirit' (Galatians 5:22),** 'The peaceable fruit of righteousness' (Hebrews 12:11), 'The fruit that abounds to your account' (Philippians 4:17). What account? Your heavenly bank account. A deposit is made for each godly act.
Because 'Each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward' (1 Corinthians 3:13-14).
To Be Continued...
* Brief article on working out your salvation with fear and trembling: http://www.gotquestions.org/fear-and-trembling.html
** The fruit of the Spirit: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=galatians+5%3A22-23&version=NASB
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Paul's Powerful Priorities series.